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Southerland Prayer Letter (June 2020)

Dear Partner in the Gospel,

In my Spring prayer letter, I shared that I had recently returned from visiting the mission field in Myanmar and leading Team Timothy in Peru.  Almost immediately after that letter went out, people all over the world were advised not to leave their homes or go to church, let alone travel to different continents.  I also highlighted what a busy ministry season that had been.  In spite of stay-at-home orders and guidelines that severely limited travel, ministry labors have not decreased at all.  In fact, there have been the same number of responsibilities.  The difference has simply been that they had to be accomplished by different, and often less efficient, means.  And much time has been spent determining whether to cancel various activities or what guidelines would be required if they are to continue.  You have likely experienced these same challenges.

The publication of our PMU newsletter, the Missions Banner, serves as an example of one of the proverbial “hoops” the PMU office had to jump through while stay-at-home orders were in place in Ohio.  Before the stay-at-home order, we had been enjoying the help of a wonderful group of ladies from Grace BPC (Cincinnati, OH) who have been gathering to fold and prepare the newsletter for mailing.  However, for the May issue of the Missions Banner, the Ohio governor’s orders prohibited groups of more than 10 from assembling, especially from different households.  Our solution for that month was to have my large family prepare the Banners for mailing.  While we may not have been quite as efficient, it was a welcome opportunity to get out of the house and serve.

So far, 2020 has brought unique challenges to life, but it has also brought unique opportunities.  While a couple out of state trips were postponed, my family was able to make good use of a little extra time together.  In fact, a backpacking trip with all three of my sons that had proven too difficult to fit into our schedules in the past, finally came together and we enjoyed social-distancing in one of Ohio’s State Forests.  It was full of adventure and beauty, and was a time with Cody, Lucas and Micah I’ll cherish forever.

Thank you for your prayers for our family.  The Lord has been gracious and allowed us to stay connected in various ways with family and friends and Ohio has begun to reopen.  Now we are enjoying seeing more of our church family and friends in person.  Many of you have been praying that Kelly’s cancer would not return and I am grateful to be able to report that her bloodwork numbers have come back favorably.  They are a quarterly reminder of the threat that the cancer could return, so we are grateful for prayers and our Lord’s peace when we await those results each time.

I hope you are well and that you’re able to make the most of unique opportunities to bring God glory and enjoy good things from His hand even in this difficult season.

By His Grace,
Casey Southerland

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